Friday, January 18, 2019

Sewing Report 3: Green Coat

The cuffs are finished and after some needed housework catch-up, I hope to add the buttons.

The pattern did not feature cuffs but they balance the look of the coat, and I may add a border cuff to the hem to give the coat weight in the wind

Instead of stitched button holes on this fabric, I am considering making buttonholes with ribbon as binding around them. I will practice on a scrap of the fabric first. This is ribbon from the dollar store.

The coat wasn't finished but I wore it because we had to do some errands and it was a good time to get a picture of it by the obliging field.  The rain and wind were formidable and definitely did not want me out there today. Without buttons to close the coat it was hard to stay dry but Mr. S. quickly took a picture while he sat safely in the car.  Already the color of the grass has gone darker than the shade of green fabric  I chose to go with. 

Without the lining, yet to be stitched in, the coat does not hang as smoothly as it will, so check back and see me here later with the finished product. 

While we were in Walmart getting more bandages and other things, I looked at the fabric and picked two more colors I want to make coats from, and I will try to remember to get pictures when I am there again. One is aqua and another is berry pink which is almost red.

I'm looking forward to getting the floors swept and kitchen cleaned so I can settle in and finish this coat. 

On the final post I will post fabric description and prices.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Sewing Report 2: Green Coat

We had an interesting weekly Ladies Bible Class today, which I will try to summarize at the end of this chapter.

This is the scarf I wore around my shoulders (from Dollar Tree) because try as I might I couldn't seem to get the house warm enough that early in the morning.  It rained and rained, was overcast  and dark, but that scarf color was such a bright spot. 

I turned on all the battery candles and we enjoyed singing, hot tea and lunch, as well as a very mutually edifying discussion of the chapter we are reading at this point. One of the ladies commented that it was hard being a homemaker if you didn't have the support of others, and that was one reason that we all needed to come to the ladies class each week and enjoy the fellowship and the shared beliefs.

Yesterday I got a second wind (energy) in the evening and finished the outer sections of this fleece coat. I still have to attach the cuffs and buttons and lining.  Usually I get sleepy as soon as it is dark but not last night. This project interested me enough to keep me going. 

I felt just like I did when I was a teenager trying to finish sewing something to wear the next day. I remember the feeling of freedom and creativity sewing my own clothes. The possibilities were unlimited: need a skirt? Sew it today and wear it tomorrow. And I developed in those days the mood dressing I have described to you here so often: dressing to go with the occasion, the scenery, the weather. Someone on this blog told me I was the only person they ever heard of that developed a fog fashion.  We must try to think of possibilities. I knew a lady who dressed to match her dinnerware colors at mealtimes, and I thought she really knew how to get some delight out of life in the ways that often go unnoticed and unappreciated. 

I had to remember to mark all the little things, such as the extra button indicated by the X on this pattern piece.

The marking was for the button on the left, shown on the instruction sheet here:

At the start of a sewing or cooking project it is good to sit down and relax and read the instructions so you know where you are going with it, and what comes next, etc. and don't overlook details.  Sometimes even neglecting the smallest step can ruin the whole thing or make it more difficult.

Because I had not marked that X when the pattern was on the fabric, I had to lay the pattern on the finished garment and go back and mark the button location with one of these sewing pencils; chalk pencils. It can be done with chalk too, but both kinds of markings will eventually fade, so I had to re-mark the button holes.

The instruction sheet required stop-stitching.

To sew a straight line of top stitching, I guided one edge of the presser foot along the seam for a guide, as you see above.

Mr. S. said the top stitching made it look like something from Cabellas, and I think it makes the coat look designer and expensive.

Because I get the pattern pieces out and check the notches, markings, circles, and printed instructions, I keep them inside a zip lock bag in jumbled array.  After I have finished the project I will iron the pieces on light iron, no steam, fold them and put them back in the envelop if I can do it without tearing the envelope.  And I may still keep the whole lot in a zip lock bag. They fit just fine in my pattern drawer.

Well now you see how cute and cozy this kelly green coat is looking, and why it kept me up until midnight. 

I hope you are not tired of this green stuff, because I still have the hat and the purse to finish.

I don't know if you can see the pockets, but they are not on the sides of the coat. Instead, they are on the  front seam between the front and the side front, which I found is a lot more comfortable when using. You can see here the satin lining in the pocket and the top stitching around it. Doesn't it look neat? 

Notice the pockets.

I have made several mistakes on this coat but with fleece, I find it not worth it to unpick anything, since sometimes it just makes holes in the fabric. It has the texture of felted wool, and the stitches embed so deeply inside the fibers that it is better just to let the mistake lie where it is.  

Because I want to wear this coat tonight to something Mr. S. is attending, I am going to have to do the Ladies Bible Class summary later. I hope you don't mind.  Who minds anything when they are sewing something in kelly green. Its not as if it were sackcloth.

Mr. S. has a special protective velcro padded shoe he sloughs around in and he sounds like a Sasquatch in the swamp, with the sounds of squishing and clomping when he walks. However today when I cleaned the wound, packed it and wrapped it, it looked a lot more civilized.  He is feeling his freedom again and I can't keep up with him.

If you missed what happened to him, you have to go back to December the 4th or thereabouts on this blog.

Before I go, I wanted to show you how I've kept these trees on for a bit of festivity and extra light.  I know someone who has a collection like this in her family room and she keeps it there all year long.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sewing Report 1: Green Coat

Above: this is one of those vinyl bags from Dollar Tree. People are buying these to frame as pictures because they are so classic pretty. 

Good Day, Dear Ones,

The main pieces and the lining of the green fleece (polar fleece, which is an acrylic fabric) coat, hat and bag have been cut out.  

I am using these three patterns for the coat, hat and bag.  I sometimes get patterns when they are 99 cents even if I do not like the style, if it has some other thing in it I might find useful such as a sleeve, a bag, a belt, etc. Although I didn't plan on making the dress in the lower pattern here, I use the purse pattern. 

Haven't sewn a stitch yet but at least I'm looking at it. 

Mr. S. is really on the mend now and has gone out to the Chamber of Commerce meeting and and is paying some bills and looking at a comfortable chair at Bi-Mart that I told him about. When that store gets down to the last item, they write "last one" and reduce the price quite a bit. We just need to find someone to haul it for us if he gets it. I hope he will, because Grandma's chair has served its time, although I don't believe its all up with its usefulness. It just wont do in the living room anymore. We will move it to a bedroom.

My shopping around for just the right buttons was seriously curtailed when I began this project, as I was always time-limited so I didn't have hours to browse for unique buttons like I did when I was selecting the buttons for this pink fleece coat, below.  I got the only big green buttons available at Walmart, which were under $2.00. I will give you a price list when I post the final picture of the finished coat.

You may remember you sent pink rose buttons after I discovered the fabric store only had one of them (and the total of 8 buttons would have cost as much as the coat fabric). They are a well liked plastic rose and as soon as a shipment came in, they were sold, so some of you went to your local JoAnns and got me one!  You are TOO generous. I've almost worn out this coat but I will save the buttons if it ever comes to that.

Early last year I found a cloth purse at Walmart that matched this coat.

 I did manage to briefly go in to Dollar Tree for some kitchen essentials.  I peeked at the sticker selection and found this.  I brought it home and hung it by my desk:

This makes a good subject to talk about today.  I like these: "In all things, it is better to hope than to despair" and "Don't lose hope. You never know what tomorrow may bring." 

Hebrews 6:19 says that hope we have as a steadfast anchor to the soul..  

When an anchor is lowered from a boat, it prevents the vessel from being swept away to danger. It anchors it in one place. No matter how it is tossed about, it stays where the anchor keeps it.

So I hope to be back soon  when I think of something to say about it.  Don't worry I'm not getting  daft yet. I just need to get some things done around the house first, and sew a bit on that green coat. But you may comment if you like and give your insight.

I put this picture here to remind me to get that coat sewn while the color still goes with, before the field turns brown.

Here is an update on Mr. S.  He is doing so well and the doctors here encourage him not to get dependent upon aids like canes and walkers, etc. so Mr. S. says he is glad he lives in this small house where there are so many storage boxes and so much old furniture about that he can never fall. There is always something to hang on to. And when I encourage him to think "up" and think of all the things he can do, he reminds me that he just had surgery. In two years when people ask him how he is doing, he will probably say, "I just had surgery, two years ago."  That's like me saying the reason I am so behind in my housework is because I had a baby...forty five years ago.

Anyway, he says he is going to have a epitaph put on his tombstone that says, "I tried to tell her I was sick but she didn't believe me."

I mentioned in a previous post that as long as I have known him, I still can't predict what he will say and what angle it will come from. 

His dentist likes him so much that he unlocked his office at 10 p.m. to fix a tooth so he could preach the next day (Sunday) without a whistling sound.  And when Mr. S. said one of his one-liners, the dentist forgave him his entire debt.

Mr. S. had a seriously good sermon that Sunday that he was encouraged by people to put it in a booklet form, which is doing right now. I'm so grateful to his parents for their careful upbringing and attention to his soul.  He has such a strong foundation in the Lord and cannot be moved. You wouldn't ever see him having such a thing as a meltdown (unlike me).  His mother was a very patient, practical Scots woman who also liked to laugh.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Tea For You

Hello Ladies,

I do not have any particular "lesson" or encouragement today, since I'm mainly trying to get housekeeping under control since the vicious running around we've been doing, 

so I'll tell you all to get a cup of tea...

...and ponder this:

The Lord keeps you in perfect peace when your mind is centered on Him, because you trust in Him.

This is what Isaiah 26:3-4  is saying.

I learned from this, that when troubling feelings come upon us, we can immediately go to the Lord and ask him for faith, love, comfort, strength, help, security, identity, destiny, self worth, stability, acceptance, approval, inspiration, happiness, empathy and sympathy, success, and all those things that a human being desires.

I wish I had something more to report, but today has been a busy day of cleaning up and there is still a long ways to go. I have bread rising because we are trying not to buy or eat commercial bread. Even the presumably good bread with all the nice ingredients in it often is sabotaged by other things (soy, corn syrup, datem, phosphates, etc.) , and home made bread has 7 to 10 ingredients that are real foods.

That being said,baking bread does not free up your time, unless it is time at the grocery store. You have to remember not to walk out and go somewhere if it is rising or baking ;-)

I am also catching up on ironing, and continuing to cut out my green coat. I am cutting out the lining today, as well as the hat and purse. Hopefully that field I chose to "go with" is not going to change color or get harvested before I get my "picture took"  alongside it!! I have assigned this week to work on that coat.  

Mr. S. has been out and about, driving to the monthly preacher's meeting, the insurance company, and other places,  and now he is home with his foot  up on a pillow.  He was listening to something on YouTube and I heard him laughing (it has been thought that laughing helps healing) so I was asking about it and he replayed it for me. It was a series  called "Cajun Justice," in which someone was arrested for "possession of alligator."

Possession of______(name the illegal item of each state) is a crime, punishable with tremendous fines and imprisonment. Alligators are protected in that part of the country. We've all heard of possession of controlled substances but  rarely "of alligator".

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Settled Routine

We are looking forward to a settled routine here, so that we can make plans at home, with career, with creative goals, hospitality, and cleaning.  Our routine is still "out and about" as the wound on Mr. S.'s left foot heals.  Today I felt we had made some progress, as the wound care center set us up to come every other week. That's an improvement on twice a week, and once a week.  The wound is getting smaller and Mr. S. has developed a worse sense of humor that blindsides me every time.  I got rather anxious the other day when he kept dropping things on the wood floor, which echoes the noise much more--his keys, his pen, the alarm clock, and anything that made a sharp noise. When I asked him why he was dropping so many things, he thought for a minute and then said,

 "People have been known to drop things."

I don't know where he got the people-have-been-known-to.." thing, but it stops me every time. I totally lose the direction of my conversation and forget my point, and my brain is tied in knots trying to figure out how it relates to anything.

One of our sons bought him a new jacket at Cabela's--perfect for today's men's fashion update here on home living.

Thrice he has left his cane (which he is not accustomed to using) in a shopping cart and each time I went back and found it for him. When I told him there would be a fine levied every time I had to go find his cane, he decided not to bother with it any more. He began to whistle. I asked him how he could be so cheerful when he had languished in the hospital 10 days, had surgery, lost the entire month of December trying to recover,  lost his cane 3 times, he said:

"People have been known to whistle."

"Life is a lot more interesting  when you give up your plans."

 Two more pictures of paintings on the walls of the hospital where we go to have the wound care department check his foot:

 I have viewed scenes like this from the air when flying over this area.

Once again we stopped at HL on the way home. Mr. S. left his cane in the car and I didn't have to go back and find it, so he wanted a treat, and I got him a Route 66 fridge magnet:

I took some pictures in HL today of things that would look nice in this cottage here, though I find their prices terribly high on furniture:

This would work well for the bathroom as a place to put clothes, towels and personal items, or for a mother to sit on while minding a child in the bath.

This I imagine would look nice next to my bed (you haven't seen my bedroom yet--I'm still working on it, and it's not show worthy yet), as an end table and hair dressing table. That's me in the mirror with that pink coat I mentioned in the last post.

Any of these tubs would be lovely in the laundry room to stash soiled clothes awaiting laundry time.  I think it is great the next generation has an opportunity to use the kinds of things we started out with back on the farm!

Mr. S. is highlighting on the map the highway route we are going to take on another day trip soon, which I will post as we go along.  

In the meantime I'm re-doing my laundry room so I can be more efficient, so I'll be painting and hanging cute laundry signs, and maybe create a quaint laundry basket.  I'm using the washer and dryer that Mr. S.'s parents used. It is amazing how long those big clunkers last.

Today I am cutting out the green fleece coat and lining and hoping I can get it sewn while it still matches that pasture  of kelly green grass across the road.  As the grass grows, the color changes, so I am wanting the coat to be the exact color of that field since it is so astonishingly nice.

This is all the inspiration I can muster today. I'm so glad the physician visits (all 8 of the different offices involved) are going to be fewer and further between, giving me more time at home. Yesterday Mr. S. completed all his appointments by himself, amounting to stops in 3 different locations. It gave me time to make a batch of bread, clean the kitchen and catch up on laundry.

If I get the coat finished I will be sure and put it on the dress form and get a photo for you.

Thank you for continuing to be supportive, for your prayers and for the two ladies who made a donation. It is all deeply appreciated.

Sarah Elliot in Australia, I have not heard from you in awhile and I think the email I have is outdated, so I hope you will leave a comment or contact me by email. I know you use a braille computer and I wonder if possibly you have given up using the internet.

Saturday, January 05, 2019


I am sure you all get so busy with a moment, or with living, or being so absorbed in an interest that you forget to record it in a journal or take pictures. The same is with us, although Mr. S. will often say, "Get a picture of that" to remind me.

This week we were on our rounds of therapists, wound care, podiatrist, etc. (I counted 8 people invested in Mr. S.'s left foot) and we were able to stop at a nearby Tea Room for lunch.
Mr. S. ordered chowder and sourdough bread.

Of course they had their famous salted caramel vanilla crunch cake*, which a friend had ordered when we we took tea together last year. I summoned up the courage to ask for the recipe. The owner and all the waiters are men who behave like proper butlers, I tell ya! They can't do enough for the customers and they are so helpful. This man told us he had tried to make that cake there in the kitchen but had not mastered it yet. He said he was pretty sure the filling was a sauce containing oats!  He told us they sure were not letting out the recipe anywhere, which is quite a feat, since you can usually find any recipe for anything on the web, and most recipes codes have been cracked.

The waiter talked a long while to Mr. S. about his hat.  We were having lunch there around 2 p.m. when there was a lull in business and they acted glad to see us ;-)

While on the subject of tea, I can't resist mentioning that in the office at that very grand hospital, they were extremely short handed due to one of the staff being called elsewhere, and we sat in the room for an an office assistant came in and invited me to the nurses station to fix Mr. S. a cup of tea to make him more comfortable. I'm thinking its his hat. He gets a lot of admiration and attention when his Australian hat, and that day he was wearing his beige one and looked so distinguished. 

Above: Mr. S.'s Australian hats and all-weather jackets. It was too dark to get a picture of him outside when we got home. We were gone most of the day.  I'm not liking that very much at all but I do get a lot of amusement being seen with Mr. S. where people always talk to him (and barely take notice me--they think I'm some kind of care giver).

Back to the tea room, which is called "Indulge" there are a number of private sellers that set up little vignettes and booths all around the establishment, so that you may browse before, during or after tea.  I came across this chiffon scarf. Does anyone remember wearing them? They came in all colors and were quite cheap at the time, and we wore them loosely on our heads to protect our hair arrangement.  I had not seen one in awhile.  The cost of this one was $12.  I think they used to be a dollar or less, back in the day.

Above and below: some of the colorful art in the physicians lobby. All the art in this huge facility is Northwest scenery--rivers, oceans, mountains, forests, flowers of the area.

In this reception room they provided hot and cold drinks and hot water to make our own.

Above and below: the view out the window of this room: remember I told you my son, with his crew, built the entrance area. He likes to talk to us about all the intricate details of this place, down to the rebar. (reinforcing bar).

Our life is a constant stream of foot check ups and so on the way home we always have to stop to pay bills, do business, etc.  Hopefully as Mr. S. wound gets smaller (as it is doing) we will not be out so much and be able to settle down and do all the things we have plans for. Gradually the appointments will cease until there will be a once a year check up. 

Each trip is 60 miles or more, and we are out nearly every day, so I'm really looking forward to slowing down and less travel expense. Hopefully one day there will be branches of this hospital nearer to the small towns and rural areas. 
 By the way, this hospital is called Riverbend and is in Springfield, Oregon, if you want to look it up.

In the physician's office, Mr. S. was asked if we had "in-home health care" which is a service you can get where a wound care team will come in and change the bandages. Mr. S. introduced me as his in-home health care person, which he said he never leaves home without, but I'm not sure they actually thought we were together. One of the nurses asked what group I was from! There are several of these services available. I couldn't think of a witty reply.  I know I have extra weight to lose, but never thought of myself as a group.

We also walked around quite a bit, since the therapist suggests Mr. S. use his foot, and that is really nice for people like us who enjoy looking at the interesting things in Hobby Lobby. We found a lot of Route 66 items, and I was sure disappointed when Mr. S. told me we had been through a part of that highway on our trip to Mexico, and I was not aware of it. It was not marked anywhere that I could see, but if I had known, I would have wanted to get a picture of him there. 

 These are all pictures I took during our walkabout in Hobby Lobby. Mr. S. likes all the signs and car pictures. 

In a future post I hope to include pictures of Mr. S.'s model car collection and hat collection. Like his ties, we have kept everything he has ever owned from childhood. That's why we keep talking about building bigger barns. ;-)

I have an etiquette talk forming in my mind, for children. It seems today they are more accustomed to bouncing around in a padded room instead of being able to identify what chairs and tables and plates and spoons are for. I've seen so many of them acting as though they don't know the difference between a toy and a tool, and nothing is off limits to them, as the parents admire the imagination and exploration abilities of the children. We don't want to scare little children with too much "no" but we also need to train and teach them to behave orderly in life, so that they are constructive and not destructive.  If you have anything you want me to include in this video (if I EVER do it) please leave a comment.
Fan at Hobby Lobby. I remember when we had some of these back in the day and no one wanted them when we tried to get rid of them. Now they are a hot item.

By using this recipe at and dividing it small enough for one or two people, I was able to make the vanilla cake. As I do not use sugar (I prefer maple sugar or honey), the texture was a lot softer.  

To make the salted caramel filling, you have to find a salted caramel recipe and reduce it to a small amount also if you are just making it for one or two people.  Mine worked well as a filling for the cake, and I added finely chopped walnuts.

The topping works well as is, in the Victoria mag. recipe, substituting the things you wish.  Top that with something crunchy, such as Maple sugar, and you have something similar, if not, better, to the salted caramel vanilla crunch cake. 


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